If you are a fan of Turkish cuisine, then you are probably just as obsessed with kebabs as we are. There are several types of kebab in Turkey. Let’s learn the most famous Turkish kebabs below!
The most popular Turkish food is kebab! The best kebabs in Turkey are always in casual restaurants, so if you happen to visit Turkey, don’t look for luxurious places to eat kebab. They serve kebabs with several amazing side dishes on the side.
And if you are into Turkish foods, you should check out our most loved Turkish recipes too!
The kebab cuisine, as we like to call it, has a ton of different types of kebab ranging in flavor, cooking methods, and even the way they are served. But in Turkey, kebab or kabob is considered to be any type of skewered meat that has been cooked over charcoal.
Today, we have compiled a list of the best Turkish kebab recipes for you! These have extremely authentic flavors that will make you feel like you are busy eating a kebab in Turkey at this very moment! But let's learn more about kebab before moving onto the list.
What is Kebab?
Kebab, or kebap as we say, is a Turkish national food that has taken the world by storm. There are a ton of different varieties and Turkish skewers (or kebabs) are anything that has been cooked over a charcoal grill – it doesn't even have to be on separate skewers! But we also make kebabs in a pan over high heat or even in a clay pot in the oven.
Doner kebab is the most well-known kebab globally and is usually made with lamb meat. The second world-famous kebab is Turkish shish kebab (şiş kebap). Although lamb is the preferred meat for it, beef or chicken is also commonly used.
Turkish Kebab Meat
In Turkey, lamb is considered as the best meat to make a kebab recipe because it is known as the softest meat. But it really depends on what kebab you want to make. So you can make lamb kebabs, beef kebabs, chicken kebabs and even liver shish kebabs (ciğer şiş). Traditionally, pieces of lamb tail fat are also included in kebabs for a richer flavor.
To make a Turkish beef kebab recipe or a chicken kebab recipe, you should marinate the meat. On the other hand, good quality lamb meat might not need to be marinated.
Also, ground lamb, ground beef and ground chicken are often used to make different types of kebabs. If you want to make a good lamb kebab recipe from Turkish cuisine, you should find the best lamb meat from your butcher. So ask for the freshest meat.
When making a Turkish ground beef kebab recipe, we prefer medium fat content. The fat content helps add moisture to your kebab and prevents it from drying out too much. Whatever kebab you decide to make, a combination of spices is almost a must in Turkey.
Kebab Spices In Turkey
Original Turkish kebab and spices go hand in hand! They are even served on the table if anyone wants to sprinkle over some more! Although it is super easy to prepare your own kebab or kofte spice mix, you can find these seasoning products of big brands at Turkish markets too.
For classic skewers (regardless of the type of meat used), paprika, chili powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, thyme and oregano are amongst the most popular.
For Adana kebab, pul biber (red pepper flakes), Aleppo pepper, isot pepper, or urfa pepper can all be incorporated. They add a very unique flavor and are also often incorporated into kofta kebab recipes.
When seasoning any shish lamb kebab recipe, salt, pepper, and paprika are building blocks, commonly accompanied by thyme. And when you are making any type of liver kebab, cumin is a must-add!
You can play around with some of these popular Turkish kebab spices and create your very own flavor profile!
Not every kebab recipe needs a marinade. A great rule of thumb is to check what type of meat the kebab is made from. Ground meat kebabs do not need any type of marinade.
Lamb shish kebabs, beef kebabs, and chicken shish kebabs that are made using chopped meat (not ground) taste way better when marinated.
We either use a milk marinade or yogurt marinade to make traditional Turkish kebabs. Besides yogurt or milk, we add olive oil, and a mix of kebab spices to the mixture. To make the kebabs taste a bit richer, we sometimes add tomato paste too. Even for more flavor, you can mash a garlic clove and add it into the mixture.
Marinating the meat overnight is the best but if you don't have enough time for it, add a little lemon juice in the marinade mixture and wait for at least 30 minutes.
Turkish kebabs are mostly served with a variety of side dishes and condiments. These include lots of herbs like fresh parsley, arugula, green onions, roasted onions or raw sumac onions, chili peppers, Turkish chili sauce called acili ezme, a type of salsa and haydari. And in most restaurants, kebabs are served after cig kofte has been served as a starter.
More Turkish Recipes
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!